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Mel Martinez Warns: If Romney Fails To Woo Latinos, Republicans Risk Becoming A 'Minority Party'

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Sen. Mel Martinez announced his resignation to a crowd at the Orlando International Airport in 2009 as his wife Kitty looks on.
Sen. Mel Martinez announced his resignation to a crowd at the Orlando International Airport in 2009 as his wife Kitty looks on.

While Mitt Romney has yet to tap all the resources at his disposal to try and win the Latino vote, Mel Martinez, a former Senator from Florida who served as chairman of the Republican party, warns that if he doesn't get things moving soon, he could lose the election.

The GOP risks being “relegated to being a minority party" Martinez said during a forum in Tampa on Wednesday, according to The Los Angeles Times. He continued, explaining the party must “find a way to make that connection” with Latino voters.

Political consultant Ana Navarro, who has never been one to mince her words, sounded off on Romney's position with Latino voters, as well.

“Where his numbers are right now, we should be pressing the panic button,” she said, the LA Times reports.

The numbers she referred to are the results of the latest weekly tracking polls. Out of 300 registered Latino voters surveyed by Latino Decisions and impreMedia, 20 percent responded they were "certain" they would vote for Romney, while 55 percent answered Obama.

Trailing nearly 40 percentage points behind his democratic competitor, Romney has a lot to make up -- especially since, Latinos, one of the fastest growing minority groups in the country, are thought to be a crucial voting bloc in the upcoming presidential election.

Countless politicians and advisors have thrown in their two cents, urging Romney, and the Republican party, to woo Latino voters. But the feat is a difficult one, since the Republican party must appease its main base of support -- predominantly, older conservatives -- while still bending on certain issues that are of interest to the Latino community.

Romney's son Craig and his wife Ann took on the charge of wooing the Latino community for Romney this week -- Craig with his Spanish-language skills and Ann with her talk of shedding biases. Whether the ploys to gather Latino voters worked is anyone's guess at this point.

The jury is still out on how Latino voters are going to swing come November, but one thing is for sure -- the GOP needs to find a better strategy for appealing to Latinos.

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